Africa Cup of Nations preview: Cape Verde

Lille's Ryan Mendes in action against Valencia on October 2, 2012
© AP Photos
Sports Mole previews minnows Cape Verde as they take part in their first ever Africa Cup of Nations.

Cape Verde caused a major shock in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying when they defeated Cameroon to reach the finals for the first time in their history.

An eye-catching 3-2 triumph over two legs was enough to write coach Lucio Antunes and his players into the nation's folklore.

They may have been given a tough draw in Group A but they're sure to relish opening the tournament against hosts South Africa in Soccer City.

However, there would be few bigger surprises in the competition if Cape Verde were to gatecrash the last eight.

Group: A

Players to watch out for:

Ryan Mendes
The forward has enjoyed a decent start to life with Lille following a summer move from Le Havre. With good instincts in the penalty box, opposition teams will have to keep and eye on the nimble 22-year-old.

Heldon Nhuck
If Mendes fails to create any magic in front of goal, Nhuck should also give defenders plenty to consider. The 24-year-old, who plays his football in Portugal with Maritimo, is comfortable both inside and outside of the box.

Previous best: N/A

Odds to win outright: 66/1

Sports Mole says: Group stage

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